I have an old toilet, and the mineral scale inside (INSIDE inside) the rim is slowing the flush speed. I reckon I need to temporarily block up the holes somehow, dump a solution in the flapper, and hopefully let it dissolve the buildup (then unblock the holes).

Is there a good natural solution, an "oh, just put in a bottle of corn syrup and let it sit for 2 hours" type of thing, or what? Where I live, brand names are hard to come by, so I'll need a generic type of thing... any thoughts?

  • I tried and tried but I never could. That's before I found this forum. Hired a plumber and he didn't mess around with it and sold us a new toilet. – lqlarry Jan 29 '12 at 19:06
  • CLR will dissolve your mineral deposits. Holding it against the spots where it needs to dissolve will be the challenge. – Kate Gregory Jan 30 '12 at 13:29
  • Wow - still fighting this after 5 years? Well, in the meantime, there was this question: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/51521/… see my answer there (or perhaps one of the other answers there...) – Ecnerwal Aug 28 '17 at 4:05
  • @NiallC. Turns out Ecnerwal's post had the same content, so it is a duplicate after all! I'll re-flag. Posted my answer anyhow. Thank you! – Ben Aug 28 '17 at 14:39

Found an even better article a few years later, again:

The best way to completely clear the rim jets is to plug each jet with plumbers putty, pour acidic toilet cleaner into the overflow tube located in the toilet tank, and let the acidic cleaner sit for a while and dissolve the build-up and deposits. After a few hours, remove the plumbers putty and flush several times. Finish the job by scrubbing with a brush to remove any leftover debris.

Older answer

I just happened across this comprehensive answer a few years later. Here's the content:

You can test the toilet by pouring a 2-gallon bucket of water directly into the bowl. If the water swirls and goes down and stays down, then the jets are probably clogged.

You can repair this condition yourself with a little effort and a $20 bill. You will need a gallon of calcium, lime and rust remover, sold under the brand name CLR (at most home stores), a 1-quart soft-plastic container (metal might scratch the ceramic inside the bowl), a plastic bucket, rubber gloves, eye protection and a well-ventilated room. Use a portable fan if you have to. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants to protect your skin from the chemicals. Read and follow the safety directions on the CLR container.

First, turn off the water supply to the toilet. There should be a shut-off valve on the wall or floor under the tank. If not, turn off the water supply to the home. Flush the toilet, then drain and sponge out as much of the water as you can find from both the tank and the bowl.

Next, remove the tank top and the rubber flapper valve at the bottom of the tank. Start the cleanup by pouring all the CLR into the tank. It will fill the bowl as it enters and starts to clean the jets. Using the plastic container, scoop up the CLR from the bowl and pour it back into the tank.

Keep scooping and pouring, and you will start to see flecks of mineral deposits inside the bowl. At some point, the CLR may start to foam as the chemicals react with the calcium and lime, and you may notice an acidic odor.

Leave the room or use the fan and venting to avoid breathing the fumes. When the air has cleared, continue to scoop and pour until you see the CLR running out of the jets freely.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.